A MIXED bag of anti-fascists from many different groups gathered once again last Saturday in Cricklewood Broadway to prevent a march by the fascists and racists of the South East Alliance (SEA) – a hardline breakaway from the Islamophobic English Defence League.
As before the core of the protest were comrades from Brent Trades Council but there were also local councillors, members of the Green Party, Polish anti-fascists in Dywizjon 161, members of the Labour Representation Committee, young people in Antifa and lots of local residents. And again the local shopkeepers and passers-by were supportive of the anti-fascists.
There were also very large numbers of police – many more than on previous occasions – and no prepared pens for the opposing demonstrations. Anti-fascists anticipated attempts to kettle them to allow the fascists to pass.
So the Antifa young people were reluctant to remain together with other anti-fascists in one place for any length of time – though there was great camaraderie between the groups – tossing anti-fascists chants back and forth from one side of the road to the other. And occasionally they would make a group dash to disorganise the police.
The fascists arrived late and from two different directions – two small gangs surrounded by protective police and unable to connect without passing the crowds of anti-fascists.
Their leader, Paul Pitt, threw one of his usual tantrums and was nearly arrested. But he was rescued by a light-blue-jacketed police liaison officer with an ear-piece that was clearly relaying directions from above. Pitt got away with being confined to the naughty step yet again to calm down before police led Pitt and his handful of supporters through backstreets to meet the rest of their gang – numbering about 25 in total and including some veteran National Front faces.
There followed the usual exchange of verbal insults until the fascist presence faded and crept away – again.